Saturday, July 07, 2012

optical fibers

More flexible and efficient electronic optical fibers could result from a new chemical technique developed by a research team led by John Badding at Penn State University. The new technique, which deposits a non-crystalline form of silicon into the long, ultra-thin pores of optical fibers, is the first of such process to use high-pressure chemistry for making well-developed films and wires of this particular kind of silicon semiconductor.

The research has been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Hydrogenated amorphous silicon — a noncrystalline form of silicon — is ideal for applications such as solar cells. Hydrogenated amorphous silicon also would be useful for the light-guiding cores of optical fibers, but depositing the silicon compound into an optical fiber, thinner than the width of a human hair, presents a challenge.

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